Worried that your landlord is snooping around your apartment when you’re not around, especially if you’re on vacation? Wondering if the property manager can just enter your place any time to make a repair that you haven’t requested? What are your rights when it comes to your landlord showing your apartment to prospective tenants when you’re moving out?
When Landlords May Enter a Rental Unit in Florida
Tenants have a basic right to privacy in their rental homes. That doesn’t mean that landlords always need an invitation to enter. Under Florida state law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.53), landlords can enter rented premise in the following circumstances:
- in case of emergencies, such as a fire or serious water leak
- to make needed inspections and repairs
- pursuant to a court order
- if the landlord has reasonable cause to believe the tenant has abandoned the premises
- when reasonably necessary during a tenant’s extended absence, defined as one-half the time for periodic rental payments, given that that the tenant did not notify the landlord of the absence, or
- to show the property to prospective new tenants, purchasers, or contractors.
Notice Required to Enter Rental Property in Florida
Except in cases of emergency, landlords who want to enter the rental property in Florida for the above reasons must give tenants 12 hours’ notice of their intent to enter (unless the tenant agrees to a shorter time) and must enter only at reasonable times (defined as between 7:30 am and 8:00 pm).
Your Legal Rights if Your Landlord Violates Your Privacy in Florida
Depending on the circumstances, it’s usually best to start by discussing your concerns with your landlord and follow up with a firm letter asking for the invasive behavior to stop. (See the ThelawQ.com article, Tenants’ Rights to Privacy, for advice on the subject.)
If your conciliatory efforts don’t work, and your landlord continues to violate your privacy without notice or legitimate reason, you may be able to sue your landlord in small claims court for money damages, on legal grounds, such as infliction of emotional distress or trespass. For advice on dealing with landlord invasions of privacy, see the ThelawQ.com article, Can I Sue My Landlord for Entering my Home Without Notice or Otherwise Invading My Privacy?
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